United States and Kenya announce the launch of US-Kenya strategic trade and investment partnership

United States and Kenya announce the launch of US-Kenya strategic trade and investment partnership
Published date:
Thursday, 14 July 2022

During a virtual meeting today, United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, and Kenya's Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Betty Maina, launched the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).  

Building on their June 13, 2022 meeting in Geneva, Ambassador Tai and Cabinet Secretary Maina agreed that their governments will pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas with a view to increasing investment; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses (including micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises); and supporting African regional economic integration.  

They identified the following initial issues where the United States and Kenya will develop an ambitious roadmap for enhanced cooperation with the goal of negotiating high-standard commitments in order to achieve economically meaningful outcomes: 

  • Agriculture.  The United States and Kenya will consider measures to facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures.  The two sides share an interest in fostering sustainable agricultural practices, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovative agricultural technologies that would help achieve food security goals, increase farm productivity, and improve farmer livelihoods, while addressing climate change concerns.
     
  • Anti-Corruption.  The United States and Kenya share a commitment to prevent and combat bribery and other forms of corruption.  The two sides will engage in information sharing of best practices to prevent and combat bribery and corruption and will explore negotiating specific commitments.
     
  • Digital Trade.   The United States and Kenya share an interest in fostering consumer, business, and worker trust in the digital economy, ensuring access to information, promoting the development and use of resilient and secure digital infrastructure, promoting competition and the participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and addressing discriminatory practices.  The two countries will discuss measures to support digital inclusion, including accessibility, and online consumer protection.  The two countries will also monitor global discussions on emerging issues in digital trade which are of mutual interest.
     
  • Environment and Climate Change Action.  The United States and Kenya share common values with respect to environmental protection, a commitment to conservation, pursuing measures to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the importance of the sustainable use and management of each country’s natural resources as they strengthen their trade and investment relations.  The two sides will engage on strengthening these efforts, including with respect to climate adaptation and mitigation practices.  The two sides will also consider opportunities to strengthen their respective commitments in this area, including through cooperation.
     
  • Good Regulatory Practices. The United States and Kenya will explore negotiating high-level commitments on topics such as: ensuring adequate time for public consultations on proposed regulations; posting of proposed regulations for review by interested stakeholders; basing regulatory decisions on best available information, science, and evidence, including undertaking risk analysis and regulatory impact assessment as appropriate.  The two sides will also explore negotiating provisions on services domestic regulation.
     
  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The United States and Kenya believe that the success of MSMEs are key elements to promote sustained economic growth, including for women-owned enterprises. The two countries will discuss approaches to integrate MSMEs into international trade.  The two sides will initiate periodic technical best practices exchanges and roundtables on micro, small and medium enterprises. 
     
  • Promoting Workers’ Rights and Protections.  The United States and Kenya share a desire to work together to advance and protect labor rights through: enforcement of and compliance with labor laws, promotion of social dialogue, and cooperation in other areas of mutual interest on labor and employment priorities, including with respect to forced labor in global supply chains.
     
  • Supporting Participation of Women, Youth, and Others in Trade.  The United States and Kenya are committed to promoting economic opportunities for women and youth and continue to examine how to develop and adopt trade policies that promote and facilitate the participation of women and youth in international trade and to promote good paying, high-quality jobs and sustainable livelihoods.  The two sides will work to identify resources to support the economic empowerment and participation of women, youth, persons with disabilities, other vulnerable populations, and the African Diaspora in trade to promote equitable and inclusive development. 
     
  • Standards Collaboration.  The United States and Kenya will discuss the role of standards, conformity assessment procedures and technical regulations that have a significant impact on trade, including opportunities to reduce impediments to trade due to differences in their respective systems. The two sides intend to engage on and discuss in depth their respective processes for the preparation, adoption, and application of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures based on mutually agreed best practices. 
     
  • Trade Facilitation and Customs Procedures.  The United States and Kenya recognize the pandemic’s impact on supply chains and the demonstrated benefits of streamlining border procedures and accelerating WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation for trade in goods during this challenging time.  The two sides will discuss opportunities to simplify procedures, especially those that allow new entrants to engage in trade.  In this regard, the two sides will consider various customs practices, transparency and cooperation on customs enforcement  to inform mutual understanding, including the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Republic of Kenya Regarding Mutual Assistance between their Customs Administrations, signed at Washington on August 6, 2014, as well as explore other topics of engagement, including trusted trader benefits for demonstrated low-risk importers, particularly those that participate in their respective country’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program.  

The U.S. and Kenyan governments will commence working within three months to develop a detailed roadmap for engagement in each of these areas. 
  

###

Share this article

View related news articles

Kenyan manufacturers eye US market in growth plan

Manufactures in Kenya are banking on the pending trade deal with the US to grow the sectors’ contribution to the GDP and create jobs. The sector targets a 20 per cent contribution to economy by  2030. This will be driven by an increase in production of high quality products that will help expand supply and grow exports, the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) has said. “AGOA has provided a significant market for Kenya’s...

07 November 2022

US DOA leads trade delegation to Kenya as country embraces GM crops

Representatives from 32 United States agribusiness firms arrived in Kenya on October 30 as part of an American government delegation scouting for trade opportunities. The US food firms are looking for new and expanded markets in Kenya for their crops. Kenya currently faces food insecurity and also wants to seal a trade deal with Americas. Nairobi has been pressured by Washington to allow access to its genetically modified (GM) food and...

06 November 2022

Kenya President Ruto’s warm relationship with US likely to expedite trade deal

Kenya and the US will be taking another shot at the dragging trade talks with hopes of reaching a deal before the year 2025. This is when the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) lapses. AGOA eliminates import tariffs on goods from eligible African nations, with its coming to an end putting countries under pressure to secure a pact that will see them continue to enjoy preferential trade terms. President William Ruto’s warm...

04 November 2022

Kenya president Ruto: Country ready for more trade deals with the US

President Ruto has said Kenya is ready for more trade deals with the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program, which gives Kenya and 40 other sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for over 6,000 products. Ruto, who hosted a US delegation at State House, Nairobi, on Monday, said the country has plenty more to offer the United States as a trade partner. "Kenya largely exports apparel products to...

31 October 2022

US food firms to visit Kenya scouting for trade opportunities

Representatives from 32 US agribusiness firms are set to jet into Kenya on Sunday as part of an American government delegation scouting for trade opportunities. The US food firms are looking for new and expanded markets in Kenya for their crops. Kenya currently faces food insecurity and also wants to seal a trade deal with Americas. Nairobi has been pressured by Washington to allow access to its genetically modified (GM) food and crop...

29 October 2022

Kenya's new president: US has overtaken the UK as Kenya's premier trading partner

President Ruto has said the United States has overtaken the United Kingdom to become Kenya's premier trading partner. Ruto, who spoke during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens on Thursday, said Kenya will continue strategic engagements with key development partners like the US and the UK, which has been the country’s premier trading partner for a long time. "We also remain devoted to our strategic engagements with key...

20 October 2022

If duties were eliminated, 'strong potential for US red meat in Kenya'

The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently submitted comments (  see document alongside) to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF senior director of export services, says that USMEF highlighted several non-tariff barriers and potential trade obstacles, including concerns about Kenya's burdensome import license system,...

30 September 2022

Kenya businesses 'want continued duty-free access'

The Biden administration has been clear that none of its trade negotiations cover tariffs. That includes talks with the U.K., the EU and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership talks with Kenya. In Kenya’s case, the country already has duty-free access to the United States for most of its goods under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. But the Biden administration has not said yet...

26 September 2022

Concerns expressed that Kenya deal with US could hurt regional trade

The pursuit of a new trade pact between Washington and Kenya is eliciting old fears on whether it could hurt adherence to obligations under the East African Community, and hence continental ambitions for more commerce. The US has confirmed it is willing to restart negotiations on a future trade pact with Nairobi once a substantive government is formed by President William Ruto. And although Washington says any trade agreements in Africa will...

24 September 2022

US concerns with doing business with Kenya

The United States of America has expressed interest in resuming trade with the East African nation of Kenya. The resumption of trade between both nations is a welcomed development according to both parties, assuming the interest of both players is protected.  Tension surmounting between these two nations results from the potential tax that could be imposed on their businesses should they commence trade with each other.  The US has...

24 September 2022

US overtakes Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods

The United States has overtaken Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods, according to a report by Business Daily. Citing official data, the publication reported that Kenya’s exports to the US grew by 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year, ending Uganda’s 10-year dominance as the leading export destination for Kenya-made goods. In the period under review, Ugandan consumers bought Sh36.2 billion worth of...

22 September 2022